MANILA, Philippines – A total of 112 areas all over the country have been placed under localized lockdown to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Friday.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año explained that implementing localized lockdown is the “best approach” in containing COVID-19 as it “surgically targets areas where cases, either positive or suspected, are concentrated.”
“Localized lockdown is like hitting COVID-19 at its source which has been proven to be effective especially in the 112 areas where it is currently being implemented. It really works since the hot zones areas are secluded from the rest of the community, hence, stopping the transmission to other communities,” said Año, who also serves as vice-chairman of the National Task Force against COVID-19.
Of the 112 areas, 67 are in the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR); 18 in National Capital Region, 19 in Cebu City, 1 each in Cavite, Quezon Province, Leyte, and 5 in Cagayan de Oro City.
These areas have been under localized lockdown as of June 21, according to the DILG.
The National Task Force Against COVID-19 led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana recently issued the Operational Guidelines on the application of the zoning strategy in implementing the National Action Plan against COVID-19.
In the same statement, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that since the beginning of the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, the national government has shifted to the zoning containment strategy as COVID-19 cases being reported now are clustered in several municipalities and communities, “making large scale containment operations and interventions no longer feasible, efficient, and cost-effective.”
“Thus, the NTF saw the need for an LGU-led containment strategy where LGUs could monitor the pandemic more accurately in their respective areas and allow them to adopt a calibrated response that can adapt to emerging conditions in their areas, enabling them to stay ahead of the outbreak trajectory,” he said.
Malaya said that LGUs, with the concurrence of their regional IATF, are encouraged to place areas, may it be a street, purok, barangay or the whole city or municipality under localized lockdown “if the numbers and data point towards that direction.”
“LGUs must do all necessary precautionary measures for the safety of their constituents including the localized lockdown,” he said.
The DILG also reminded LGUs imposing localized lockdown that they must have organized quick response teams (QRTs) that shall carry out the test-trace-treat strategy against coronavirus in the lockdown areas.
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